Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Value of Challenging Gifted Students in Elementary School

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Most educators and parents of gifted children spend a majority of their time during the elementary years endeavoring to provide or advocate for challenging work. As adults, they know the value of challenge and conversely the consequences of not experiencing it early in life.

Challenging young minds, especially at the elementary level, must be considered a fundamental right for all students. Each and every one should learn something new every day; no exceptions. According to Lubinski [Who Rises to the Top? Early Indicators, .pdf], children who are challenged throughout their school years are more successful as adults. Challenge can stimulate a child to meet and exceed personal goals while developing their passions. It can inspire and nurture talent that may be otherwise lost.

Some of the greatest disparity in ability we see is in the early elementary grades. We ignore that at our peril.Lisa Van Gemert, Co-founder, The Gifted Guild

According to parents and advocates, there are times when some schools don’t seem to care if kids are bored and the question becomes, “Why?” Myths about gifted children still abound and too many educators believe gifted kids will be fine on their own. There are those who do care about all their students, but may be overwhelmed with the demands of so many different needs in one classroom. As Michelle Weber of Gifted Family Travel pointed out, “Since some schools don’t do above-grade-level assessments, they don’t understand the extent of boredom.” Heather Gatlin, 8th grade science teacher in Lubbock, TX, remarked, “standardized testing “forces” many teachers to focus on low performing or “bubble kids” often leaving behind higher achievers.”

“If our young GT aren’t challenged and never have to struggle early, they will not be equipped to succeed when it really matters.” Angie French, GT Specialist, North Houston, TX

What issues can arise when kids aren’t challenged? Young children who aren’t challenged, don’t learn the value of hard work (in most cases) to succeed. Unchallenged children may find coursework difficult in later years and give up too easily. It can also lead to depression, underachievement, distrust of teachers, acting out in class, complacency, perfectionism, social withdrawal; among many other issues.

There are ways gifted kids can be challenged at the elementary level. Elementary students can be challenged by being place with like ability students who share similar interests and goals. Allowing students to go deeper into areas of personal expertise earlier than age-mates, compacting curriculum to allow gifted students to sprint through material, and independent student can provide challenge. It can also be accomplished by simply accelerating students either whole grades or in individual subjects. Ruth Lyons, Adjunct Professor and GT District Coordinator in Maine, suggested challenging students through “Purposeful products! Service learning…opportunities for students to see that their work can make a difference.:

Parents can advocate for a more challenging curriculum. When it’s determined your child needs more challenge, start to put a portfolio together of their work. Portfolios should include samples of work, lists of books read and activities, graded tests.

What strategies can secondary teachers use to help gifted students who weren’t challenged in the early years? Depending on personal needs, classes for study skills may need to be introduced. Students’ voice should be acknowledged to determine level of intervention necessary. Counseling may also be appropriate. Carolyn K of Hoagies Gifted had these suggestions, “pretest and SKIP the material the child tests out of! Integrate kids into advocacy starting in middle school, so that they learn to self-advocate.  Convince high school that kids who get 95-100% on tests don’t NEED to do homework to get A. Take advantage of state dual enrollment programs when available.” You can read the transcript of this chat at Storify.

Happy Birthday to #gtchat! This week marked the beginning of our 8th year on Twitter!

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

What Should I Do If My Child Isn’t Sufficiently Challenged at School?

What to Do if Your Child Isn’t Challenged Enough at School

By Not Challenging Gifted Kids, What Do We Risk Losing?

What To Do When Your Child Is Ahead of the Classroom

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use (Amazon)

Sneak Learning into Everyday Life

When Your Child Is Bored at School

Smart and Bored – Are We Failing Are High Achievers?

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

Ridiculous Things I Heard Today

7 Signs Your Child Isn’t Being Challenged In School, Not Acting Out

When Schools Don’t Meet Your Gifted Child’s Needs

Cybraryman’s Challenged Based Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

How Squid Got Skipped: The Book of Squid

Academic Acceleration

Advocating for a Grade Skip: A Portfolio of Research

Gifted Advocacy

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Can Blended Learning Benefit Gifted Students?

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In education today, it seems like there is a new type of way to learn every month or so! Blended learning is exactly what it states; a blend of different approaches to teaching and learning that brings together face-to-face teacher directed instruction and online learning options. It seeks an optimal integration of traditional teaching and elearning that is instructor or student led.

When considering if blended learning works better at the elementary or secondary level, the reality of this type of learning seems to be more dependent on the student than on educational level. For schools, it is usually more prevalent at the secondary level; but gifted kids can benefit at elementary level.

Blended learning resources can be found at Twitter chats and through online resources. It is also the subject of many recently published books (see links below).

Blended learning can allow students to choose what they want to study. It opens up opportunities for students to follow their passions even when local resources are scarce. It also appeals to the unique interests of many gifted students that traditional schools cannot accommodate.

What should parents know about blended learning? It is an option that does not require a lot of financial resources for school, but more of an open mind to change; and can be good for gifted students who’s needs aren’t currently being met in traditional classrooms. Blended learning can combine many different types of learning and more effectively meet their child’s needs. To learn more, you can view the transcript of this chat at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Teaching Students to be Innovative through Blended Learning

K-12 Blended Learning Research Synthesis

Blended Learning in K-12 (Wikibooks)

Blended Learning (Wiki)

Listen and Learn: Defining Blended Learning (YouTube 7:03)

Tips from the Pros: Making an Enriched Virtual Program Work for Your Students

Blended Learning: Building Student Strengths with the Right Mix

Here’s How We Can Reinvent the Classroom for the Digital Age

What Effective Blended Learning Looks Like

Chase Middle School Teacher Helps to Pilot Blended Learning Model

Blended Learning in Action: A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change (Amazon)

How is Designing Modern Blended Learning Different? Hint: Creativity

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance (Amazon)

Why Do Students Choose Blended and Online Schools?

Blended Learning: Creating an Individualized Learning Experience for Students

Transcend the Classroom with Virtual Place-Based Learning

Letting Students Study What They Want, When They Want is the Latest Education Trend 

The Basics of Blended Learning (YouTube 5:50)

University of Texas – Austin UT High School District and School Partnerships

Cybraryman’s Blended Learning Page

The Station Rotation Model

What Blended Learning Means for Teachers

University of Texas – Austin UT High School G/T Professional Development

What Is Blended Learning?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

New Year, New Resolve

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The first chat of 2017 saw many familiar faces from across the U.S. and the globe! It was exciting to see many participants who had not been able to join us in recent months and their presence is always appreciated. All participants shared ways in which they would resolve to serve and advocate for gifted children in the new year. You may review a transcript of the chat at Storify and take a moment to check out the links from the chat below.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

New Year’s Resolutions for Parents of Gifted Kids via @Giftedkidsguide

New Year’s Activities for Gifted Kids and Their Families

4 Year Old Explains the Problem with New Year Resolutions (YouTube 1:55)

I Will Treasure You: Resolutions for My Gifted Child

2016 Year in Review and Predictions for 2017

Gifted Advocacy: A Call to Action

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

Your New Year’s Resolution: Make a Plan!

7 Smart New Year’s Resolutions for Students

Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning

Sprite’s Site: The Dabrowski Dogs Make New Year Resolutions

Plymouth Gifted: Words to Ponder

World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) 22nd Biennial World Conference in Sydney, Australia

Gifted Family Travel

Educators: The Lessons We Learned in 2016

The G Word: A New Documentary about Giftedness

Photo courtesy of PixabayCC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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